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Smokey, the completely blind dressage horse

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  • Smokey, the completely blind dressage horse

    Smokey: The Completely Blind Dressage Horse

    I found this article today and I figured fellow COTH-ers could appreciate it, if anybody could I think this boy has got a real heart in him. He's 23 this year and still competing! The website looks like he's consistently in the 60%+ range, too. Not bad for a geriatric, blind horse!

    What do you think? Have you ever ridden a blind horse, or an older horse in competition?

  • #2
    Awwww! This is such a neat video! What a good boy. Thanks for sharing!
    There's a gal here in CO who had an upper level horse who only had one eye. He did just fine. Also, I have heard that horses can do quite well blind as long as they have a bond with their rider.
    My horse will be 20 this Friday and still sound, fit, spry, etc. I stopped showing him when he was 18, due to training issues. When he being shown, he beat younger horses and very expensive warmbloods- he was a real competitor. He just got burnt out of the "round and round" and the full bridle made him really tense. However, I could still show him. He looks and moves like a horse about half his age!
    I think older horses are really neat, especially when you've had them for awhile. The bond is irreplaceable!


    • #3
      my horse is blind in his left eye, and while it initially posed some challenges in straightness, we are fairly competitive I think.
      others may see it as a handicap, but I don't. Dressage is about having open lines of communication between horse and rider, and the horse receiving guidance on where to put and how to use their bodies. If anything he's more attentive to the aides now that he has that blindness in his left eye.
      But I will say when he gets nervous it's his left jaw that locks.

      John Lyons years ago used to do demonstrations with his blind appy, where he'd RP a green horse, atop his blind appy bridleless. It was pretty neat to see!
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        There was a horse in Germany whose name was Prince Rouge which went blind early in his training and the owner had no money for another horse. He went on to do GP, and he was presented at Equitana years ago. Not a dry eye anywhere.
        I.D.E.A. yoda


        • #5
          we had a horse that became a dressage horse because he went blind. First life was a jumper, then an event horse. When he finally lost all his vision he became restricted to only dressage.

          Judges never knew he was blind!!


          • #6
            I had a barrel horse (bought to do dressage with but he hated it) who went completely blind. He always came in first at barrel shows. Since he couldn't see the barrels he never anticipated the turn. He also competed in reining and did very well. Great horse and I was offered nice chunks of change for him several times. I always replied with....he's completely blind you know ....

            Member Appaloosa lovers clique


            • #7

              This horse has always impressed me.
              Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by CFFarm View Post

                This horse has always impressed me.
                What an impressive horse as well! It's amazing to see that so many people accept blindness as just another trait to their horse, not a setback. I'm glad.


                • #9
                  My very first horse was blind. Roman nosed, ewe necked, logger headed, rat tailed, sparse maned strawberry roan appaloosa. She was 18 or there abouts when we bought her and was completely blind in one eye unbeknown to ANYONE! Vet we used for the PPE was her normal vet and was as shocked as we were. She was loosing vision in the other eye as well and before we had owned her two years was completely blind. I used her for barrels and trail riding as she was far too ugly and not registered to do much else. SOLID mare though and no one ever knew she was blind. She never bumped into anything, didn't require a companion for site though we did take the hay rack out of her stall when she bumped it a couple of times and used a net. Loaded perfectly fine and would go on the trail with or without companionship. Totally and completely trusted whatever human was on the other end of the rope. Before we owned her she was in a lesson program and was very very loved. Wonderful mare and truly a beauty is as beauty does.
                  Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                  Originally Posted by alicen:
                  What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                  • #10
                    I loved watching the Smokey video posted above. Thanks for posting.

                    Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                    There was a horse in Germany whose name was Prince Rouge which went blind early in his training and the owner had no money for another horse. He went on to do GP, and he was presented at Equitana years ago. Not a dry eye anywhere.

                    Originally posted by CFFarm View Post

                    This horse has always impressed me.
                    And wow again!
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